BEVERLY HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) -- If the students heading to Birmingham Groves this week are expecting an easy ride, they're out of luck.
"My philosophy is you have to do something to exercise your brain everyday," Kelser said. "Even when you're out of school."
And Kelser is making sure that happens at his camp this week.
"I was a kid once. I had people who really took an active interest in my well-being: teachers, coaches, and just people who cared," the 1977 National Champion told me.
"People at the rec centers, people who just cared about the youth -- and that's all I'm doing, just giving back in that manner."
These boys and girls weren't even alive when Kelser was playing for Michigan State and the Pistons. But it doesn't take long for him to earn their respect. His message of putting education with basketball sinks in immediately for these campers.
One young student compared Kelser's education-based camp to other basketball experiences he's had.
"In normal basketball practice, you just work on plays, running, and fundamentals, but in this camp we do all of that. But [Coach Kelser] talks a bunch more. He talks about the '3 C's,' competence, competitiveness, and compassion."
Kelser continues to be blown away by the lives he's touched.
"I actually have people come up to me now and say, 'I attended your camp, and you said this, and you did that, and it really made a difference.'"
That's always the hope of a camp counselor, but Kelser's reach spans much further.
"In some cases," he explained. "Those people are 40 years old. So that let's you know that the impact is there and it's lasting, because they remember it."
"If it can make a difference, than that's all the better for me," he concluded.
That impact has continued for 33 years -- since Kelser's first organized camp in 1978.
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